Church of Saints Simon and Helena

Minsk, Belarus

Church of Saints Simon and Helen, also known as the Red Church, is a neo-Romanesque church designed by polish architects Tomasz Pajzderski and Władysław Marconi. It was built between 1905-1910. The bricks for its walls were sourced from Częstochowa, whilst the roof tiles came from Włocławek. Its construction was financed by Edward Woyniłłowicz, a prominent Belarusian civic activist. The church was named and consecrated in memory of Woyniłłowicz's deceased children, Szymon and Helena.

In 1903, about 2,000 Minsk's Catholics wrote a petition to local authorities asking for a site to start building new catholic church. This request was satisfied, and construction started in 1905. The church was consecrated on September 20, 1910. On December 21, 1910, the church was opened.

In 1923, the church was robbed by the Red Army and in 1932 it was closed down by the Soviet authorities and transferred to the State Polish Theatre of the BSSR. Before the Second World War, the church was rebuilt into a cinema.

In 1941, the German occupation administration returned to building to its original use as a church, but after the war it was again used as a cinema, called the 'Soviet Belarus.'

In 1990, the building was returned to the Catholic Church. Since then it was renovated, and became an important centre of religious, cultural and social life. It also became a centre for the revived Belarusian Greek Catholic Church.

In 2006, Edward Woyniłowicz, the church's donator who died in 1928 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, was reburied here.

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Founded: 1905-1910
Category: Religious sites in Belarus

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

John Townsend (8 months ago)
Very pretty church. A more complete restoration would revive it's beauty though.
Anton Kristeenna (8 months ago)
Loved being there. Such a peaceful place
Francis (11 months ago)
Small for the amount of people that go there for service
Emiley John Reddy (16 months ago)
History and still standing strong a long 111 years and more
Emiley John Reddy (16 months ago)
History and still standing strong a long 111 years and more
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